Thursday, July 16, 2020

Seeking wonder

Stories and News No. 1209
 
Recently I have had the opportunity to read that Covid-19 pandemic was a sort of general test of the world’s end. It could be, I consider it a reasonable observation, but in my humble opinion – especially regarding the lockdown – it is also an extreme and caricatured representation of our own present, not just the future.
Occasionally I happen to think back to those days when in Italy we almost all lived locked at home, with windows or balconies as the only glances granted to the outside world. In addition, of course, to the digital portholes to explore the chaotic backdrops of the World Wide Web and, more than anything else, the much underestimated imagination. But you may also call it as the ever free internet, infinite until proven otherwise and capable of connecting anyone with anyone in any place and time.
Italian lockdown has ended, although I am convinced that some of us is still trapped at home, on the embalmed sofa in front of the TV, on the bed staring at the ceiling looking for an exit, in front of the mirror in the vain waiting the other saying a word or maybe at the table in the kitchen hoping that the lunch will never end. But safe, or with the idea of being so, thanks to armored doors, railings on the windows and even garlic. As we might say, it's not true... but I protect myself.
Not true. Which means it is false, it is a lie, it is the result of an oversight, an invention or even

someone else's cheat. Of someone who, more or less authorized by us, has got the right to tell us what is happening outside our trusted caves.
For this reason, if you cross the threshold of your apartment or suddenly lose the freedom to do so, I think that our generation was born in lockdown. And despite having experienced the embrace of the sun on our skin if it mixes with sea water, once lying on the towel after a nice bath, many made the choice to give up the real meeting in exchange for a mendacious and illusory dramatization of living. All provided that it was harmless, as it could happen in a movie or a video game.

In such a case, I am not surprised that United States, United Kingdom and Russia are not listed on the group of countries blocked by italian government due to the risk of Coronavirus’ spread. Even if they are on first places in the world ranking for number of positive patients and deaths. Above all, no one has yet decided to point it out...

I am not surprised to learn that not only the essential is invisible to our eyes, as the little prince would say, but also what is simply human and in need of help.

I am not shocked by reading that among the various topics to think about that the pandemic suggested there is our incomprehensible and ostentatious blindness in front of the colossal crisis that contains all the others: global warming and climate change.
I am no longer stunned, by now, by the parasites of others’ misfortunes and their cruel job to get likes and possibly votes.

That's why we should get out of bed every day trying to open our eyes more, every morning more. That's why we need to read new and above all different stories as much as possible. This is why we should often cover our mouths with a special mask, composed of dutiful curiosity and healthy empathy, and listen to others with the right attention.
Because we may still be wondered before other people, and maybe for something good.
We don't have much time, right now, but there is still some before sunset...


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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Why do we migrate?

Stories and News No. 1208
 
Why do we migrate?
I mean all of us, nobody should feel immobile.
Why do we leave the country, the place, the exact point on the map where we are, to move further, elsewhere, over there, as long as it is not here?
You could avoid conversing with me on such a crucial issue, and maybe get carried away by the usual and punctual train, subtly powered by instrumental lies. But if instead you want to reason on the fundamental question, instead of being

anesthetized by the best-selling answers, that is, false and only apparently free, I promise you that I will try to make it simple, like a short story.
Let's say your home is the world. Although for many out there, it is exactly like that.
Let's imagine that this brief tale lasts one day. We choose a day of celebration, without particular and routine commitments, in order to make the plot less banal. Even if, the incipit can only be taken for granted, I admit, thinking about the awakening of the average citizen deprived of the obligation by the watch.
Thus, due to the caress of a ray of sunshine, the inappropriate steps of someone outside the room – or the apartment itself – the usual noises of the city, the eyelids are raised and the story begins.
You pull yourself up and realize you're sweating. The night was hot and the sultry morning that welcomes you does not portend anything different for the rest of the day.
You put on your slippers and get up. It is time to move on, now. To make the first taken for granted trip: the one towards the bathroom, to satisfy the most basic of primary needs.
Well, dear pilgrim brother, leaving out the specificity of that biological urgency, here is the first reason why people migrate: need. What am I saying? I don't give credit to the real drama if I don't use the plural: needs. All the needs you can imagine among the basic ones. Imagine finding yourself, I'm not saying one or two, but with each of the human, basic unmet needs. In addition, add also the climatic change that in your case disturb sleep and little else, and that some obtuse people still insist on minimizing. In this situation, you would migrate, would you? And you would also do it running with your head down, believe me.
Nonetheless, imagine finding someone at the bathroom entrance telling you that you cannot go in. Saying that you do not have the papers and not even the human right to cross the threshold. A nightmare, isn't it? Yeah, but think if you were awake instead...
Anyway, once your morning problem is solved, you retrace your steps and you do what? You migrate again, traveling friend, you migrate. Because the throat is dry, but you don't despair at all. Because you know that at the price of a few meters of shuffling steps on the parquet floor of your slippers – flip flops of these months – you will come to the undervalued realm of the kitchen and its wonderful gifts. Among all, a tap with drinking water and a refrigerator, more or less full of clean and fresh food.
Nonetheless, at this point you can easily guess a further reason why millions of people, not to say a thousand times as many, give up their bed and the little more they have: a magic knob – but you may also call it mixer, the portentous is even bigger – and a fairy door. You turn the first one and could find out what it means to be able to quench your thirst like an annoying fly whenever you want. You may open the latter and the promised land, with its fruits, is so near the stomach.
Nevertheless, let's imagine that at the entrance of the aforementioned realm you find shady characters, free to beat you up and drive you back into the real nightmare where you believed that dreaming of escaping from the latter was normal. And above all, humanly understandable.
But your luck is that you are just passing through the lines of a harmless story. That’s why, after drinking and having breakfast, you are going to migrate again. Again and again, from one room to another, real or virtual, these days. Then, not satisfied with that, you take advantage of the privilege of the movement, received only by chance from fate, and prepare to continue the journey beyond the borders of the world called home – wherever your desire, bold or virtuous, and the needs of the moment will guide you, from infinitely high to the most miserable one. And at every limit of your habitual wandering between one world and another, you do not even contemplate for a fraction of a second to find yourself suddenly facing an impassable wall. Otherwise, you, you would hit the floor with your feet and scream with anger at the undoubted abuse. Because existing means being able to move from one second to another, from one centimeter to another, from one life to another.
At the end of the day, then, you will enjoy without any awareness of the benefit of being able to go back to where it all began. And you will fall asleep more or less restless, but with that minimum of serenity due to the knowledge that the next day, once you will open your eyes, what makes you immensely lucky will still be reachable...


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Thursday, July 2, 2020

When elephants fall

Stories and News No. 1207
 
More than 350 elephants died in northern Botswana in a mysterious mass death defined by scientists as a "conservation disaster". Something similar had already happened in the African state in May, where 169 animals died, just near some pools of water.
The local government has not yet tested carcass samples, so there is no precise information on what is causing the deaths or if they could be a risk to human health. The two main possibilities are poisoning or an unknown pathogen. However, according to experts there is no precedent which proves that it is a natural phenomenon, but without adequate controls, it will not be possible to discover the truth.
On the other hand, the search for the latter, especially when it forces us to get on the dock, is definitely not our best.
So, as the generalist press often prefers, let's focus on the deceased, rather than investigating the causes, currently mysterious, but precisely for this reason worthy of being identified.

Indulge me for the time of a half page or a little more, and instead of thinking about the origins of a collective death, a both alarming and disarming one, let's try to observe the consequences of this tragic loss for the animal kingdom in the form of a metaphor which to draw something significant from.
So, when elephants fall.
When elephants fall, and it is not only an episodic accident, but the thundering and inexorable collapse of many, you cannot ignore the sound of the thud on the innocent surface of the planet.
Because when elephants fall, it is the largest and most underrated creatures on earth that plummet from the top of their complex lives.
If what is far more imposing and ancient than you definitively gives up to its enemy, natural or artificial it might be, you cannot remain indifferent, especially if the latter adjective concerns you personally. In the most absolute way, when the distinction between the two becomes more blurred every day, to the point that there is no earthly tragedy that is not attributable to clapping human hands.
So, if have managed to reawaken your interest, I hope that you cannot consider it irrelevant that we are talking about typically slow animals, thanks to their innate awareness that the speed has meaning only for a valid reason. And this reason, like the one that pushes them to cross kilometers of suffocating heat and hostile land, has to do with a good that you have guilty taken for granted, or even persecuted: survival, but you may also read it as the pot filled with clean water and a loaf of bread at the end of the rainbow called the Mediterranean sea.
Because you see, dear friend, that you observe from afar the evocative photos of the mysterious departure of our colossal planet brothers, when an elephant falls, it is as if the memory itself crashed, proverbial in their case.
So, where we dwell on this latter allegorical digression, think about the noise could the indelible memories of all falling creatures could make, that we have also filed as a conservation disaster. In this case, despite being aware this is not what the above scientists mean, I have the impression that the only conservation that these disasters guarantee is for those who never fall...
Nonetheless, if you know what interrupting suddenly the path, never reaching the desired goal, means, maybe you will also feel a little compassion for those good giants of the world, who do not need to eat meat, go to the gym and scream with arrogance to dominate us all.
Because the humble and respect they had living their life is the same when they go away forever.



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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Migrants Migrate Migrating

Stories and News No. 1206
 
Once upon a time a petty password, a shabby - anything but secret code, an irreverent mantra -more than sacred mantra, all in one abused, plural present participle: migrants.
That is a shape shifting word depending on the decade, but of univocal meaning, in the truth of appropriately manipulated facts. In this regard, see also immigrant, clandestine and refugee.
Cui prodest? This is the decisive question, as often happens in questions related to sinister and cynical interests.
The answer is there, everybody may see it, without disturbing wise historians and authoritative translators of the controversial contemporaneity. It is shamefully simple and obtusely cyclical to materialize in time with electoral consultations.
The current ones are italian regional elections, which should take place immediately after the summer, from 20 to 21 September.
Well, as if moved by a sort of call to army for sleeping spies, Matteo Salvini and his associates immediately took action to bite their favorite prey, with stale blood on the fangs and foul-smelling drool on the mouth.
So that the execrable poison spreads again inside what remains of the hearts of those in need of hatred and enemies. So that they should vote according to that hate rather than conscience. For my part, I do not give up and I still trust in people of healthy will, and in the strength of the words themselves. Even if they have been exploited to death.

I am talking about migrants, plural present participle of migrant, by the verb migrate. Well, it regards of each one of us, nobody may feel immovable.
Hence the following, poetic as provocative in its intentions, illustration of the many, misrepresented meanings:
Curious migrants: those who do not just focus their gaze and trust on the diversity of the world, but who find the courage to stand up and walk in their direction and run the risk of embracing them.
Migrants in love: those who are willing to cross every distance, even the one who separates the heart from one's pride, for the loved ones’ happiness.
Ambitious migrants: those who see the climbs as the only roads worthy of being the name.
Lucky migrants: those who at the beginning of the journey are free of charge both skin’s colour and birthplace. Maybe, that is why they find hard to understand inescapable urgency of leaving - or arriving.
Dreaming Migrants: those who refuse to accept their fathers' choices on the world that no longer belongs to the latter.
Emotional migrants: those who avoid any kind of lucid landing, since, among other things, living means feeling.
Fearful migrants: those who come to light to walk in reverse, along the path that deludes them to bring them back, to the refuge that perhaps has never been so. They are often harmless, sometimes they are terribly dangerous.
Intolerant migrants: those who proceed with their eyes blinded by lies and delusions, attracted only by the cheapest scapegoats.
Megalomaniac migrants: those who have only one goal, placed at the end of a false rainbow, without colors and with a distorted line: they called it power, but the truth is that none of them has ever really found what they are looking for.
I could go on, but I will stop here and finish with the most important one, once again mistreated and exploited these days.
Living migrants: those who wish to breathe oxygen, love someone, not necessarily all, and feel some joy from time to time. Without demanding the moon.
As you can see, migrating from our life to others’ and back, it turns out they are migrants and we all are too, despite what is ignobly told between one election and another...


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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Eviction Notice

Stories and News No. 1205
 
Hi everyone, dear planet neighbors, despite the illusion of distances.
Here we are again at our residents' meetings.
First of all, I need to say I am not the Building Manager. He left us suddenly, I'm sorry, and our prayers or simple thoughts are for him, I presume.
On the other hand, today we are facing hard times, even if in the rest of the world it is ordinary life.
However, this is not the moment for controversy. I said, I'm here to speak with no particular qualification. Nothing makes me more authoritative than the rest of you, and perhaps the seriousness of the situation lies on that too. Because when the danger affects everyone, well, the absence of worry and action makes further noise.
In any case, I ask the secretary to take note of the discussion, hoping that the result of this meeting may be useful to posterity. Or, without going so far, to the simple visitors of the following day.
Oops, silly me... there is no secretary whatsoever, since I also play that role undeservedly. Well, I do not give up and transcribe, hoping not to get too lost in chatter.
I go to the point on the agenda: people in charge of institutions such as the United Nations, the international section of the WWF and the World Health Organization have recently declared that pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of the destruction of nature by us, even if we have ignored this harsh reality for decades; most of the viruses that have severely affected us in the past originated from animal species under conditions of strong environmental pressure; for example,

through the illegal and unsustainable trade of wild animals, the daily destruction of basic forests and other green areas and the slow but inexorable depletion of earth's resources.
Before listening your opinions about that, I would like to invite all of us to consider the current contingency - nobody should feel excluded and privileged, holding their envelope.
Watch it with me, now. You’ve got it, do not pretend anything. Be brave, those who need glasses wear them, and those who simply have to approach the writing, just do it. You read the recipient, don't you? There is written To the (polite) attention of all humanity.
Well, please, don't get touchy for the polite within parentheses, okay? We have been anything but kind since we settled in this wonderful building called nature. We do not even pay the rental costs for water, electricity and heating. Not to mention those for repairs and replacements, moreover caused by damage and wear of our direct responsibility.
Anyway, let’s not lose time on such trifles, okay? This is not right, and perhaps it never was. Let’s open the envelope carefully, not breaking the contents, please. We have to keep it intact, so maybe we could come read it later when we will be more awake. The message that has been sent to us requires the maximum of our concentration, and even more, where possible. On the other hand, the writing on the envelope - “very urgent” and to “handle with extreme caution” - are unequivocal.
Here, now I have the letter in front of me. Do you have it too? Well. I take the silence for a yes. So I proceed to declare aloud the subject of this unavoidable communication: eviction notice number...
Sorry, I can't keep going. I can’t stand it, I suffer too much at the thought of the enormous price in quantities of human lives that this type of warning entails.
No, please, sir... forgive me, but that letter is not just for waving your face... I understand it’s hot, today, but, you see, things are connected, do you understand? Why don't you understand what's most basic about us?
We are all connected and I am not talking about virtual handshakes, digital clouds and enthusiastic happenings of supportive hashtags. I am not referring to the beautifully retouched profiles that we are taught to consider as tangible identities. We are all connected with everything. And what we are neglecting, raping and massacring is the latter. While, with each passing day, we focus more and more on ourselves. Or nothing, as long as it's viral.
Well, I have concluded. I hope I have been concise and effective. I have been, haven't I? Please tell me so. Let me at least deceive myself about that, because I have the bad feeling that our building meeting has already been over for a while and that I have done nothing but talk by myself...


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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Of statues and other embarrassing honors

Stories and News No. 1204
 
So we do, and so we did in the world that preceded us. Beginning - or rather ending, a second ago.
In suspicious times we used to raise and inaugurate statues and busts, monuments of all types and shapes, sizes and presumed artistic value, among the most classic or daring obelisks, mausoleums and sculptures; not to mention simple plaques, medals and dedicated roads.
Then, with the passage of time, it happens that the facts recounted by the daily narration contradict the version credited to History. Consequently, as if trying to correct the inappropriate celebration of the infamous, rather than infamy, we do the contrary. Because we have done so in past times which we are all children of. I refer to the moment when we gather around statues and busts, monuments of all types and shapes, sizes and presumed artistic value, among obelisks, mausoleums and among the most classic or daring sculptures, not to mention simple plaques, medals and dedicated roads, for diametrically opposite reasons.
Consider, as a precise example, the current

demolition or damage of the symbols of slavery, and other forms of legalized abuse and genocide, in the now ex-land of opportunities and in the UK too.
This is a quite complex undertaking, to be concrete. I am saying, to work - more or less vindictively, on the exorbitant amount of these embarrassing material evidence of the shadow areas of the past is a hell of a job.
Nonetheless, by focusing on my Italy, are they actually identified as such? Shadow areas, I mean. You know, while at the courts respectively of Queen Elizabeth II and Trump I, some are using bribes and picks, in my country people are so quick to incense the winners, even before they reach the coveted goal. So, right now, in Milan are discussing the opportunity of removing the statue of the journalist Indro Montanelli, who confessed of having married a minor.
Well, given that I fear a grueling meeting like those between Tolkien's Ents, in the meantime I draw up a list of questionable honors, limiting for example and personal interest to the protagonists of Italian colonialism in Africa: the plaque in via Nazionale, in Rome, in memory of the patriot and distinguished statesman Agostino Depretis; the statue of another patriot, or Francesco Crispi, erected in his own square in Palermo; the statue of the shipowner Raffaele Rubattino in Piazza Loading in Genoa; the monuments in memory of King Umberto I, both in Desio, in Piazza Martiri di Fossoli, and in Rome, along the Viale della Pineta, inside Villa Borghese; the busts dedicated respectively to General Antonio Baldissera in viale dell’Orologio and to Major Pietro Toselli in via Lepanto, always in the capital; the monument in Milan of Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, the only italian Nobel Peace Prize winner, despite his support for the notorious Libyan war (whose terrible consequences are still evident today); the house museum of the poet Giovanni Pascoli, also a convinced interventionist of the aforementioned wicked action. Because aggression’s wars are all, without exclusion, unforgivable crimes, period. This should not be discussed, otherwise stop here, my advice. But why not mention the exorbitant amount of streets and squares named after characters known also for their colonial past? Like the square named after the government agent disguised as a missionary Giuseppe Sapeto in the Garbatella district in Rome; via Alessandro Asinari in San Marzano, via Giuseppe Arimondi and via Giuseppe Galliano, excetera.
I could go on, but I'd end up breaking every length record for a single post...
In my humble opinion, the most urgent question is not whether or not it is appropriate to remove uncomfortable testimonies of our spasmodic dedication in paying homage to simply famous and powerful individuals, more than worthy of luster.
The point that interests me more is manifested in the form of a question: today, compared to the day we unduly honored the person with the filthy moral record, are we a different society?
In other words, are we able to distinguish an admirable human being from a popular rascal, right now?


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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Every six seconds

Stories and News No. 1203
 
Every six seconds.
Every six seconds, the time to slowly inhale the air in the lungs and to savor the essential and most underestimated conditioned act.
Just six seconds, the time to exhale what remains of the human ritual, which we nourish both organs and life with, before whose connection we are still like infants in the presence of the immeasurable vastness of the celestial vault.
In such neglected six seconds, the overrated species we are part of, dares to erase an entire primary forest as large as a football pitch, from the sacred natural design.

That's exactly what happened in the past year. And well, the current assumptions make us think that we will even be able to beat this horrible record.
Every six cursed seconds...
Take a breath, then, and let’s recite together the time of such an insane misdeed: one, two, three, four, five and... six! Delete it, and yet another environmental work of art disappears in front of our eyes and from all the dreams which we could have relied on.
A football pitch… how big is it? Let's try to be magnanimous with ourselves and limit ourselves to the minimum size of a soccer pitch, about four thousand square meters.
Four times a thousand square meters of wonderful trees and precious water, priceless living creatures, no less worthy of consideration in the total terrestrial plot, and every single, tiny and also infinitesimal fragment of the planet whose value we have not yet fully understood. From one to six, and... puff! Everything disappeared as if it had never existed, since human foolishness is the most treacherous among the spells: it attacks eye and memory at the same time. And when we end up forgetting the very best we had for free, we will help those who want us to pay for the worst.
This foolishly tolerated abomination has been perpetrated in some parts of the world, such as Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Peru. However, there is one nation in particular that alone has made itself responsible for a third of such misunderstood forms of planetary suicide: Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, the man - not in the human sense - guilty of accelerating this perverse self-destruction.
How such a mockingly grotesque living species we are. The nation of football is the greatest devourer of forests as vast as its pitch.
Every six absurd seconds...
Let's imagine, then, to collapse in a single space, and in a single time, those that we have already burned in the year that preceded us: more than thirty one million seconds, or five million and more of football pitches that vanish all together.
In six terrible seconds...
Here we are, let’s move the living clock’s hands back and sit on the stands to horrify, rather than admire, in front of these crazy matches with an already written outcome.
One second and... let's hurry to look, because on that field there are our children running behind a ball with the shape and colours of a planet they will never see again.
Two seconds and... let's turn to watch them climbing the branches of a tree or even just in the act of embracing it like the brother that everyone, no one excluded, could feel free to love as such.
Three seconds... and let’s still rejoice for a short while seeing them lying on a meadow to be lulled by the rhythm of a huge wounded heart, which every existing creature depends on, even the most stupid and ignorant ones.
Four seconds... and let's envy them - yes, it is so, while they dive into the water of a river or lake without fear of what has generated everyone, even the most cowardly among us.
Five seconds and... let's hurry if we want to join the albeit short nostalgic party, because time is running out and we were the first to strangle it.
Six seconds... and let's be silent now, because the magic is over and it's all true.
How true it is that we are still here, despite little merit and an infinite number of faults, and that we have incredibly in our hands the possibility of freeing ourselves from the mad assassins of beauties that we entrusted our fragile destiny on an inauspicious day.


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Thursday, May 28, 2020

I can breathe

Stories and News No. 1202
 
I can't breathe. Maybe because I just can’t or someone has decided, judged and sentenced that my life has come to an end.
This may happen right now, but not suddenly, since there is nothing new in this legalized and generally tolerated misdeed.

I cannot breathe were George Floyd’s last words on this earth.
But he was not the first and sadly will not be the last to be killed with impunity, in spite of all human decency, even before its legal basis.
#Icantbreathe is also a viral and passionate hashtag, to vent outrage and claim justice on the digital collective blackboard.
I can't breathe became we can't suffer that without pushing back. it is the angry scream of a portion of humanity with the wrong melanin only a mad, pale look; citizens like the others on the paper, who overturn their resentment to the State they belong to, but that insists on institutionally raping them; since it does every holy day since it kidnapped their ancestors overseas.
However, I can't breathe is also the unheard and heartbreaking last call of a horrendously huge number of our fellow human beings, who are equally murdered before our eyes, in all the insensate ways that a perverse imagination is capable of.
In open-air or fake prisons that we aseptically call detention centers or camps, submerged by the waves or poured on heaps of rotten wood and deluded hopes, sheltered by shelters that
they do not shelter at all and refugees among the clutches of those who promise shelter - and instead give the opposite - there are innocent creatures whose last breath is taken too; most of the time the only natural wealth that survived in their body.
For these and other billions of reasons, as many as the programmed victims who are also now added to the sad list, I feel compelled to remember that I can breathe.
I can breathe and for this reason I feel the urgency of not wasting air, but making my voice heard at any moment I become witness, directly or not, of even just one of the aforementioned killings.
To be honest, being able to breathe I have the opportunity to do something good before the innocent air is taken away by the bullies of this world, recognized murderers or disguised under any uniform.
I can breathe, so I could also remind myself to remain silent, sometimes, when every word is too much, and it would already be something.
Because I can still breathe, and maybe I know for sure that tomorrow and also the following day will be the same. Then I could use this time to reflect and study a long-term strategy that seriously favors change for those who suffer racist violence on their skin every single moment of their life; whether it ends abruptly for the abuse of a policeman or for the indifference of entire continents.
The consequences of such awareness would be incredibly virtuous. For example, knowing I can breath, I could finally notice those who are forced to live everyday holding or even modulating their breath; maybe afraid of being overwhelmed by the fury of the first passer-by hater.
Be brave, therefore. Today let’s stop the lungs to join the protest, but let's not forget to give sense to the privilege of choice when the hype will end and everything will return wrong as it was before...

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Under the mask

Stories and News No. 1201
 
Once upon a time there was Cox’s Bazar, a city on the coast of southern Bangladesh, a fishing port, a tourist town and a seaside resort, whose beach is known to be among the most pristine in the world.
Under the aegis of the second city of the state, Chittagong – now only administratively, Cox's Bazar was a land of conquest for many, from Tripuri to the Rakhine’s kings, up to foreign invaders, like Portuguese and British. The name is due to the last of such robberies, disguised by the culprits themselves and complicit history in the shape of a harmless commercial enterprise: the market of Captain Hiram Cox, in charge of managing the colonial possession.
As you can see, there is much more to discover under the mask and beyond. And we are only at the beginning. In fact, making a leap in time here we are to the city hidden in the stolen one, divided between the Kutupalong and Nayapara camps, both reserved to Rohingya refugees.
About a million people. Nearly a million lives. Little less than 1000 times 1000 between women and men, elderly, young people and children too. But what usually remains in mind, we are talking about yet another among the many legalized prisons for unwanted citizens.
Look at the border that delimits this institutionalized abomination:



Look with me at the wall that divides the outside from the inside; the lawfulness from the offense; underestimated freedom from the most unjust imprisonment. I don't what you think, but immediately after a lot of questions with no apparent answer deflagrate in my head. Among the many: who really endangers the others, between them and us?



It seems that this crazy wall resembles the masks we are wearing in these difficult days to protect ourselves from the virus.
There is something strange about not being able to read the lips of the speaker expressing thoughts and feelings; it is a common and humanly normal habit, regardless of whether hearing works perfectly or not.
There is something wrong with not being able to look at the special mimicry, between the uniqueness of a spontaneous smile and the annoyance of a grimace of disgust, the profile of a winked kiss and an irreverent tongue to minimize the tension.
Under the mask and beyond we are losing a world of information of a great preciousness. But it is necessary, because there is a virus that kills around, and this should be enough.



But what is the disease that on the other hand we fear in those we keep closed in a fence as if they were ferocious and bloody beasts?




Now, if this were not enough to make us reflect on the madness in it, the climate does its part, in addition to Coronavirus itself, to make everything grotesque in an extraordinary way.
Not even a week ago, the first cases of Covid-19 infection were detected in the infernal camp mentioned above, while today we saw that both Bangladesh and part of India have been hit by Cyclone Amphan, the most violent one of the past twenty years. Wherever the tornado has passed it has left destruction and chaos. Twenty died, many are missing and millions are displaced around, as it has happened before. The inhabitants of this land have lived together since long ago with the curse of being the object of attention of these plagues.
One of the most tragic aspects, however, given that the cyclone's action has not yet ended, concerns the risk that prisoners are currently facing in the refugee camp.
The danger is real to them, but it's everywhere now. The virus inside and the cyclone outside, and they both don't care about walls and borders.
Under the mask and beyond, even outside of it, for them the end could come anyway, and the unjust prison sentence becomes a death one, further highlighting the inhumanity of places like these.
Forgive me, but I have the clear impression that over time nature is doing everything to show us how wrong we are with each other...

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Health is wealth

Health is a right, health is everything, health is the most important thing in life, health is a precious good, health is the first thing.
Health is wealth...


Stories and News No. 1200

 
Once upon a time there was health.
It was there and, for good luck of those who can enjoy it, it is still there.
For all the others, perhaps it could be in the future, but not forever and we should to think about that every now and then.
To tell the truth, it would be appropriate to keep in mind every day what unites us all, which concerns each individual. Among the various benefits of such a virtuous practice, we would not waste time and mind dividing each other.
Well, health is like that, exactly like the current virus that is attacking it all over the world. It is a global issue which we are all connected to.
Ultimately, it works a bit like happiness; it stays up there, it wants to be admired, while the rest of us outstretch his fingers wishing us not only to grasp it, but above all to hold it tightly in the hand and in every atom of the vulnerable body.
Nonetheless, like most human gifts, we fully understand its importance only when we risk to lose it. Yet the words to say it are there, within everyone's reach.

Dictionaries define it as a condition of efficiency of one's body organism which is experienced individually, according to age, as a state of relative physical and mental well-being characterized by the absence of serious disabling pathologies. A state of physical well-being and harmonious psychic balance of the human organism, as it is free from diseases, imperfections and organic or functional disorders.
However, more than ever in such a tragic situation that the whole world is experiencing, we are reminded that health is wealth. And as for money, real estate, shares on the stock exchange, gold, diamonds, barrels of oil and any other unit of measure for human prosperity, it also has varied and controversial origins and benefits.
It is the revenue earned honestly through a daily and conscious commitment taking caring of us and our loved ones; paying careful attention to the nourishment of the body as well as the mind, both to physical and spiritual hygiene.
But it is also the inherited fruit by mere chance of birth or simple kinship; as more or less lawful trading goods; indirect gift of a privileged environment which perhaps no contribution has been made to; quite the opposite, most of the time.
Equally similar to the most satisfied of monetary laws - money always goes where money is - health improves where there is health; and at the same time it worsens tragically where it is already precarious. Obviously, unless a rare but still effective action that seems to be called solidarity.
Similarly to money, health is often bought with health; sometimes it is purchased by paying with others’ health and that is the worst of human crimes; but extremely difficult to punish, like any evildoing whose evidence is hidden in the mirror that we look in the morning.
Some place it in ideal financial institutions, made specifically to make the most of the ease of a balanced breath, the harmony of moderate blood pressure and the friendliness of a rightly relaxed heart beat. It is only an illusion, of course, with the sole purpose of convincing us that nothing bad will ever happen to us; unless a pandemic, that’s right.
Health is the offering which we pay with, or not, for access to the places appointed to our service and to those of the community. This has always been the case, even before the queue for measuring the fever temperature at the entrance.
This has always been the life of most of humanity and the rest of us too, turned away from the unexpected, as long as it does not burn; perpetually focused on the favorite image uploaded to the desktop or the nicest mobile app.
Among other things, all underestimated, health is a woman, its fundamental essence and a guarantee of survival.
It is also the heart of each childhood, but you also read it as the most fragile and misunderstood of our common treasures.
Health is the only wealth.
Let's remember it, please, when we wiil start taking it for granted...

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

In the limbo of migrants

Stories and News No. 1199
 
Hello, planet earth.
We call you from the Limbo, but you may also think about it as a seemingly far away place.
So, we are here, but also there, among the invisible cracks within human decency; over there, down there, or if you prefer sideways to the more convenient horizons - and we are still alive.
We are, despite everything and everyone. Although over time the perception of existence has deteriorated so much that the detestable meaning of a mere survival is now only a memory.
That is why we rely on the only certainties that remain: the beating heart, although at each toll it wonders whether it is appropriate to continue knocking on the world’s doors; the air that invades our lungs, although - conscious of how little clean oxygen it contains – it feels compassion for the rest of us; and our torn but indomitable imagination that persists in scrutinizing the surrounding universe in search of that phantom star called humanity.
Marveled by this unnatural sentence without a reasonable crime, but neither trial nor sentence, two words define the abominable state which they transformed us in: we cannot.
The first plural person of the verb “power” is the only one granted to us, with all the painful and contradictory variations:
We cannot stay.
And we cannot leave.
We cannot expect justice.
And, almost simultaneously, we cannot make judgments about the misdeeds of our jailers.
We cannot claim respect and consideration for our needs.
And, at the same time, we cannot even think of limiting the privileges of the documented citizens, neither their rights, not even in exchange for just a crumb of the latter.

Because this is a perfect prison, according to all the current meanings: prison exists and works, this is what you need to know; but don't tell anybody what really happens beyond the walls that separate us from you; like a carpet which you carelessly walk on and which hides emotions and feelings similar to yours; only immensely more unfortunate.
It is like an island within an island, which is subject to alien as well as alienating physical rules. Time goes backwards, because when the future becoming present is perpetually worse than the latter, you end up counting the peaceful memories instead of the sheep to fall asleep; and when you find they are finished, you start inventing them yourself.
The most grotesque paradox is that even the name you are used to calling us becomes out of place: migrant. The most misunderstood present participle of history, because it does not concern only the verb itself, like all the actions that imply whole existences embraced by the mere meaning of the word. Along with our bodies that some have taught you to ignore, our loved ones left behind and all their dreams migrate with us; the colours that have filled our eyes and all the light that we have just touched with our mind migrate too; the kind words we hoped to hear on our arrival also migrate; all the information that our senses have collected over time migrates, from the most negligible to those pleasant. Because, in short, people migrate, only people do.
This is our personal lockdown. On the other hand, it's old story, nothing new. When the tree burns the highest price is paid by the most vulnerable branches and minor leaves. Well, our tragedy, however, is that the rest of us never climbed on the tree. We always remained down, crouched next to the trunk with the hand outstretched, waiting to be able to pick the fruit you forgot and hoping every time it was less wormy than the previous one.
This is the limbo where we are now and has nothing to do with the biblical one, of quranic interpretation; it comes neither from Dante or a figurative sense.
All that for a reason that most of our fellow human beings over the wall insist on wanting to neglect: we are still alive and, as long as the breath allows, we don't want to die...


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